You had a dream about it last night, you could visualize every element of your brand. Beautiful pristine packaging, evocative fragrances, super hydrating formulations. You know that it is all going to work out in the end. That your customers are going to love your brand. You dreamt about them flocking into your shop and you could hear their comments ‘What a great product!’ and ‘We just love your fragrances’!
However, since dreaming about this, everywhere you turn to, you now see brands that have come up with the same idea and if not the identical idea, something very similar. You are beginning to have some serious doubts about whether your idea is any good. You are not so sure whether your idea is going to work, whether there is a market for it, whether someone will even buy your products. Your great idea, is not looking so great anymore at all. And you have the same questions going around in circles in your mind. ‘What if it fails? What if you get into debt? What if your friends and family turn around and say to you ‘I told you to stick to your real job!’
Well before you give up on your Big Idea and decide never to venture a Shellac manicured toe into the world of beauty entrepreneurship, stop and have a think. How many hairdressers, barber shops, skincare and body care brands, candles and fragrance brands are there in the marketplace and how do they survive?
There is always room in the marketplace for a new brand, for a brand to succeed, the brand needs to be distinctive, to have a USP, to have a niche.
Perhaps you are already in the process of defining your niche. Or perhaps you have decided that there is no point in niching. You may believe that by niching your business you are missing out on the opportunity of marketing your business to more people. Well that is simply not true. Niching is incredibly important, and let me tell you why.
If you don’t niche your business, you might as well stand on a street corner and hand out your products to every person that passes you by. Now if you were handing out lip balm, and it was a cold winters day, people would likely take you up on this.
On the other hand, if you handed out a face cream the percentage of people interested in your product would drop, people love face creams but perhaps because of allergies, sensitive skin or the fragrance within your face cream, they may not want to accept your product from you, even if it was FREE.
This is effectively what you would be doing however if you don’t have a niche. You will be devoting time, money and energy trying to hand out your product to ‘everyone’ passing you by, only to be left wondering why ‘everyone’ doesn’t want to buy from you and then beginning to wonder whether there is something seriously wrong with your products.
Firstly, let me put your mind at rest by reminding you that not ‘everyone’ is going to be your ideal customer.
This is precisely where niching comes into play, by identifying your niche and communicating your point of difference to your ideal customers, they will hear your message and recognize your brand as the brand for them.
The concept of having a niche, a USP (otherwise known as a unique selling proposition) was created by advertising legend Rosser Reeves based on the belief that through niching
• You could talk about the real benefit or benefits of buying your product
• It stood you apart from your competitors as they didn’t provide this same benefit
• It was so different and inspirational that you could influence people to buy your brand over others
It is a very powerful way of separating you from your competitors.
In-depth market research and competitor analysis certainly come into this and during our 6-month coaching programme we will go into this in a lot more detail.
For the moment, don’t start off by thinking about what is different about you, but rather think about what you can offer to your customers. What value can you uniquely offer to your customers and how is this different to your competitors?
Think back to when you first set up your business. Let’s say that you started your skincare business to solve your skincare concerns. Having reviewed other brands in the marketplace none of them solved your skincare concerns, so you decided to create your own. This is how a lot of businesses start, and if you didn’t start yours in this way it would have been a helpful way to start.
Your brand not only solves your skincare concerns, but those of your customers who suffer from the same skincare concerns. So now you
* Understand your customers concerns in detail (because they are the same as yours)
* The solution you have created to treat their skincare concerns (your products)
* You also understand your competitors, as you did your market research before launching your brand
* And so, you know exactly what benefits your brand is uniquely offering to your customers (your point of difference). It is this point of difference that defines your niche.
It provides your business with a distinct point of view, a distinct way of working and a distinct solution. Through understanding your marketplace, your point of difference and your customers you will save yourself a significant amount of time and money.
* Niching helps you with your product strategy, in identifying what products you create in the future.
* Every other product and service you create within your business will be designed around what your brand stands for, your niche.
* Niching helps you to define your strategy, your marketing, your messaging, your packaging, design and copy.
* You can now design your website, your marketing, your messaging to directly appeal to your customer and the problems you are solving on their behalf.
I am sure you can now appreciate the importance of niching.
Understanding all of this, do you now think that your BIG IDEA for a beauty brand is still worth pursuing and that by identifying your niche, and standing out as a distinctive brand, your brand could stand the test of time? I think so!
If you are looking for support with scoping our your Big Idea and bringing this to life, get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
‘Through Janet’s management skills, expertise and proven track record on the job she successfully managed the purchasing of our retail operations and ensured the integrity of our brands in-stores. Her enthusiasm and total dedication, delivered results in any project she was involved in.’
‘Janet is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. She fully understands the whole process of product development, supply chain and marketing. Janet has in-depth experience of toiletries and international retailing. I would recommend her to any company or client.’
‘Janet has excellent beauty market knowledge. Level headed with clear vision, direction and the ability to drive business forward, Janet led the teams through a complete product design change advising on what the key marketing messages should be, incorporating her technical knowledge and beauty expertise.’
‘I highly recommend Bespoke Advantage to business owners across the beauty, spa and wellness industry. Janet has been a fantastic support to my business. Through her in-depth knowledge of the beauty industry she has provided me with strategies specifically tailored to my business needs, to help me to grow my business across the marketplace’.
‘Janet has a wealth of experience across retail, buying and marketing. She conducted a full strategic review of our cross functional business and the travel retail market to develop a comprehensive buying and quality control strategy that was signed off at board level. I highly recommend her as an asset to any business.’
‘Janet is extremely professional, knowledgeable and thorough, an expert of her field. This shone through from our first conversation, which instinctively led me to want to work with Bespoke Advantage. As a new skincare brand the expertise of Bespoke Advantage has been invaluable.’
‘Janet, absolutely fantastic to meet you today. Thoroughly enjoyed The Beauty Workshop. You definitely excel in your area and beyond.’
‘We have been really pleased to work with Janet. Through her 6-Month online coaching program she showed us exactly what we needed to do each step of the way. Really look forward to having future opportunities to work together.’
‘Many thanks again for all the help, support and words of encouragement, as I said before, best and most sensible thing I’ve done in developing my beauty ideas is to engage with you!’
‘It’s been inspirational working with Janet. We are in the process of launching a skincare brand however have received conflicting opinions from so many people we were really confused. I am so impressed by Janet’s knowledge and experience in product development, marketing and retail and the way she explains everything so clearly. She is very motivating and positive, and so much fun to work with. I have much more clarity and confidence in how to move things forward.’
‘Bespoke Advantage helped us to bring our brand to life creatively and strategically. We have a clear strategy in place, with a distinctive brand message that enables us to articulate our brand to retailers and to journalists.’